¼ cup flour ¼ tbsp black pepper 1 lb beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into one-inch cubes 5 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp vinegar 1 cup red wine (optional) 3 beef bullion cubes 2 bay leaves 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarter-inch rounds (optional) 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into three-quarter- inch cubes Salt to taste
Combine the flour and pepper in a bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat well.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot.
Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more oil as needed between batches.
Remove the beef from the pot and add vinegar and wine. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Add the beef, diluted bullion cubes, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook, skimming broth from time to time, until the beef is tender, about 90 minutes.
Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered for ten minutes.
Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to